Personnel Policies for the Staff of a Daycare Center
It is necessary for a professional daycare center to develop personnel policies to help protect the employees' rights and to avoid situations that might result in harm to the children in their care. These policies should be comprehensive and cover all aspects of the day-to-day tasks expected of the staff as well guide their relationships with the children, the administration and each other. All policies and procedures should be in writing and distributed to new employees.
Daycare centers should establish a fair and non-discriminatory hiring policy. Ideally, the staff should reflect the diverse cultures of the community. It's a good idea to require a health certificate for all new employees, especially for those with medical conditions. Orientation and training for new staff must be ensured through formal policy. Ongoing professional development should be enshrined in policy, especially updating CPR and first-aid training.
All benefits must be clearly laid out in policy. The percentage of payments paid by the daycare, for health insurance and other medical or dental benefits for the employees, must be stated. All statutory holidays and paid vacation time must also be made clear. Conditions for granting miscellaneous leaves such as sick leave, bereavement leave, parental, family or jury duty leave should be included. If overtime pay is available, the conditions under which it is paid should also be included in the policy.
It's essential that employee expectations are stated in the policy. These rules, or code of conduct, for the employees might cover a variety of areas such as dress code, absenteeism, tardiness, acceptable times for meals and personal phone calls, and use of the center's computers. An additional area to deal with is confidentiality. Most daycare centers insist that employees do not discuss the children or their families except in a professional context. How staff should deal with children who are behavior problems should also be made clear. Disciplinary measures for employees who breach any of these rules should be delineated and grievance measures that employees are entitled to pursue must be mentioned.
Employees must know the safety regulations of the center. Training should be required to ensure they fully understand the circumstances under which child neglect or abuse may be identified and reported. Procedures for the safe pick-up of children at the end of the day must be in place and known by all staff. How to deal with violence or harassment should also be described in the policy, as should how to react to possible infectious medical conditions ranging from conjunctivitis to more serious contagious diseases.